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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Tuesday 1st in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Heb 2:5-12): It was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. Instead, someone has testified somewhere: What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, subjecting all things under his feet. In “subjecting” all things to him, he left nothing not “subject to him”.

Yet at present we do not see “all things subject to him”, but we do see Jesus “crowned with glory and honor” because he suffered death, he who “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels”, that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers” saying: I will proclaim your name to my brethren, in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.
Responsorial Psalm: 8
R/. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth! What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him?

You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet.

All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
Verscicle before the Gospel (1Thess 2:13): Alleluia. Receive the word of God, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mk 1,21-28): Jesus and his disciples went into the town of Capernaum and began to teach in the synagogue during the sabbath assemblies. The people were astonished at the way he taught, for he spoke as one having authority and not like the teachers of the Law. It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue and he shouted, «What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: You are the Holy One of God». Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, «Be silent and come out of this man!». The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him.

All the people were astonished and they wondered, «What is this? With what authority he preaches! He even orders evil spirits and they obey Him!». And Jesus' fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.

«The people were astonished at the way he taught, for he spoke as one having authority and not like the teachers of the Law»

+ Fr. Antoni ORIOL i Tataret
(Vic, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, first Tuesday in Ordinary Time, Saint Mark presents Jesus while teaching in the synagogue and, immediately, he comments: «The people were astonished at the way he taught, for he spoke as one having authority and not like the teachers of the Law» (Mk 1:21). This is quite an extraordinary initial notice. On one hand, what His listeners admire is certainly not the doctrine but the Master; it is not what is said, but Who says it. And, on the other hand, it is not the preacher as much but, rather, specifically who He is: Jesus taught «as one having authority», that is, with legitimate and unimpeachable power. Later on, this particularity is reconfirmed with a straight comparison: «He did not do it like the teachers of the Law».

A little later, though, the scene of the man with an evil spirit integrates the doctrinal lesson with an admirable motivation: «What is this? With what authority he preaches a new Law!» (Mk 1:27). Notwithstanding, we may as well note the qualifying adjective does not refer so much to the contents as it does to the uniqueness: the doctrine is “new”. Here we find another reason of contrast: Jesus communicates something unheard of (never ever this word could be better applied).

We still add a third remark. His authority comes also from the fact Jesus «even orders evil spirits and they obey Him!». We are facing here such a deep contrast as in the other two previous ones. To the Master's authority and to the newness of His doctrine we must add His power against evil spirits.

Brothers! Our faith tell us this Liturgy of the Word makes us contemporaries of what we have just heard and comment on. Let us ask ourselves with humble gratefulness: Do I fully realize no man has ever said, as Jesus did, the Word of God the Father? Do I feel rich with a message that holds no comparison either? Do I realize what liberating force Jesus and His teachings have in human life and, more specifically, in my life? Touched by the Holy Spirit, let us tell our Redeemer: Jesus-life, Jesus-doctrine, Jesus-victory, please, as the great Raymond Llully liked to say, may we live in a constant “wonder” of You!